tv Early Today NBC December 26, 2012 4:30am-5:00am EST
a nasty winter storm brings tornadoes and treacherous blizzard conditions to parts of south and it's not over yet. president obama cuts his christmas vacation short as the clock ticks down on the so-called fiscal cliff. and christmas around the country. why are movies so long. and the long high heft speed train 2. "early today" starts now. >> announcer: this is "early today" for wednesday, december 26ing, 2012. and a very good morning to you, i'm richard lui. christmas was anything but merry on wednesday.
at least three deaths are blamed on a weather storm that spawns tornadoes in four states and dumped snow as far as texas. nbc's chris pallone has the latest from alabama. >> oh, wow, oh, jesus, look at that tornado. >> reporter: in mobile, alabama, a christmas surprise no one wished for. a tornado that touched down right near the emergency center. the twister left lots of damage at its waking blowing out first and second floor floor windows. and tearing off the roof at the high school. with trees and power lines down, tens of thousands are without electricity. the storm sent people scrambling for cover. >> one of the customers looked out the window, and he said there's a tornado coming. i looked out and saw the sparks, the debris, i got everybody, seven customers, and said we
need to come in the back. >> i probably hurt my baby grabbing her running for protection because there was no time. >> reporter: the system spun from a massive storm system from the nation's midsection. earlier christmas day, a tornado touched down near mcneil, mississippi, more than a dozen homes were damaged and several people suffered minor damage. in texas, a live stock feed store. and high winds toppled a tree in harris county, texas, in front of a driver trying to help other driver in the middle of the road. and in west texas, lubbock looked like a winter wonderland. forecasters say the system could cause more problems in travel problems later in the week as it moves east. chris pallone, nbc news in birmingham, alabama. >> and she'll tell us where the storm is headed in just a few minutes. but first, lawmakers have
one more day of vacation before returning to capitol hill before averting the so-called fiscal cliff before the new year. president obama has cut short his hawaiian holiday. he'll come back to washington tomorrow night. nbc's danielle leigh is live. >> reporter: richard, good morning. there. is still a hope that a deal can get done, but confidence in that bargain with real reform has all but disappeared. americans are already taking a good hard look at their wallets, as confidence the country will avoid the fiscal cliff diminishes. >> i don't think there's going to be a grand bargain before the end of the year. there is hope a deal will be cut. >> reporter: if congress doesn't extend expiring tax cuts in just days, middle income owners will owe uncle sam about $2,000 extra a year. retailers will cut back in automotive, apparel and
entertainment. >> once people begin to pull back on that, the effect will be dramatic. >> reporter: the national retailers association said retailer its support 1 in 4 american jobs and if the downward turn intensifies. for those, the wait is excruciating. president obama visited troops in hawaii over christmas after a frustrating week on capitol hill. he and speaker john boehner about $100 billion. >> the president was $200 billion in revenues. speaker boehner $100 billion in spending cuts. >> reporter: tough decisions ahead. six days left. and lawmakers are now saying they will likely address tax reforms and spending cuts in the new year when the debt ceiling debate gets going. reporting live in washington. i'm danielle leigh. richard, back to you.
>> danielle, thank you. a note was left by the suspected shooter that killed two firefighters christmas eve in new york. here's nbc's ron mott with more details. >> reporter: police say the christmas eve ambush of four volunteer firefighters attacked as they arrived to battle a fire in new york. >> was a rage be interno out there. >> reporter: it was spell out in chilling details. >> quotes, i still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood i can burn down, and doing what i like doing best, killing people. >> reporter: authorities say 62-year-old william spengler who spent time for killing his grandmother more than 30 years ago, shot at firefighters. the. >> we're being shot at. multiple firemen down. i am shot. i think he used an assault rifle. >> killing people. >> reporter: officials say the
gunman was well fortified. .38 handgun. .12-gauge shotgun and the bushmaster rifle. firefighters, tomasz kaczowka and mike chiapperini were killed. human remains were found in spengler's abandoned house. >> it's the question and we'll know know what was going through his mind. >> reporter: police are investigating whether the death of spengler's 91-year-old mother in october and donations she made to the fire department could help explain the motives. former president george h.b. bush remains at houston's methodist hospital where he spent christmas with first lady barbara bush as well as his sons. doctors are saying the former
president suffered setbacks, that's why sthey had not releasd him before are christmas. he had a bronchitis-type cough. doctors say since then, he's become weak and developed a fever. for more on that massive storm, we turn to nbc's dylan dreyer. good morning, dylan. a shock for so many. >> it's a shock because there's so many different aspects. we were talking about a foot of snow in portions of arkansas, but we're also getting reports of 19 tornadoes down through mississippi and to louisiana. so there are a lot of facets to this storm and now it's spreading east and that threat of severe weather will now go into georgia and into the carolinas. and you can see where that snow is falling. we do have heavier snow right now through northern arkansas and moving into southeastern
missouri and also into southern illinois as well. so here is this area of low pressure and it is slowly going to move up to the northeast. so eventually, washington, d.c. and up into southern new bland england, we will start to see more or less rain move in. the snow is going to move into the western side of the storm system.but you can also see the heavier line of thunderstorms moving through southern georgia. we also have tornado watches. and that threat is going to push into the east coast of the carolinas. we could see isolated tornadoes again possible. on top of that, we are looking at possibly perhaps up to a foot of snow, especially off the shores of lake ontario and lake erie with 6 to 12 inches possible in southern indiana. that's a look at the weather across the country. now, here's a peek out your window. in boston, about 37 degrees, but that rain is going to take hold later on today. raleigh, north carolina, has a good chance of seeing thunderstorms today. and pittsburgh, looking at snow with highs today topping out in
the mid-30s. >> so the storm system is going to be one that affects the eastern seaboard probably until about friday morning. >> silver lining, snow, i like skiing. >> oh, yeah, a lot of people do. and have been waiting for snow, too. holiday sales hits highs and lows. instagram's legal trouble and where in the world are folks cutting the commute in half. plus, she's the face of weight watchers but now jessica simpson is about to put the pounds back on. we'll tell you why. you're watching "early today."
would open up if john kerry is secretary of state. affleck said on facebook, while he loves the political process he would not be running for office. and a new nbc news "washington post" says finding people have a bleak outlook. 56% say they are fearful. now to sports, the miami heat grabbed the top spot in the eastern conference while surviving a battle. lebron james, dwyane wade and mario chalmers combined for a whooping 78 points as the heat outlasted the thunder 103-97. in texas, rihanna and chris brown were court side with a victory over the knicks, kobe bryant scoring 34, topping 30 points for the ninth straight game. urt a. as some investors head back to work today and retail numbers are rolling in and we're
watching them. so far it is not that great. according to mastercard spending pulse, holiday sales were up 1.10% over last year. that's the slowest growth in spending since 2008. even online shopping which has posted double-digit growth the past two years, is only up 4.8% over 2011. kitchen specialty store sur la table has seen its biggest. and intragram in the uproar over revised service terms are suggesting users photos might be sold without consent. facebook vows to, quote, fight it vigorously. and you have to get past a bomb sniffing dog and an agent
specially trained to detect suspicious behavior. in china, the longest high-speed rail is off and running thanks to speeds 146 miles an hour. the train will take about eight hours instead of 20. all right, coming up. find out how some folks show the spirit of the season by spending their christmas day lending a hand to those who need it most this year. you're watching "early today."
here's nbc's john yang. [ bells toll ] >> reporter: in newtown, connecticut, it was a day of lingering heartache. empty stockings now filled with gift. first responders gave their time so the town's police could spend the day with their family. >> just the right thing to do. that's why we're here. something needs to be done and we're glad to be here. >> it's a pleasure helping out. >> police officers giving police officers time off, you couldn't ask for a better christmas gift. >> reporter: in the new york area where thousands are without homes because of hurricane sandy, volunteers are there. handing out toys, food and blankets at relief centers. >> for people to come out and help people, you can't put a price on that, you can't buy that. >> reporter: in places with direct tragedy, americans mark the day in their own ways while
keeping those less fortunate in their thought 3s. >> when people are suffering, going through hardships, many, many people come to offer their help in whatever they can do. >> reporter: across the nations, americans attended church services and spent time with family and friends. at the mitchell ofling home, outside of chicago, even young members of the extended family said this christmas felt different. >> i just like being with my family not presents. it's just family what matters to me. >> ho, ho, ho, let's go! >> reporter: a day for giving and giving thanks for what we have every day. john yang, nbc news, chicago. >> and just ahead, jessica simpson's unique way of addressing pregnancy rumors. plus supersize at the movies this holiday season. why are these movies so long? you're watching "early today."
good morning, and welcome back. we are talking about some cold, cold air all across the dakotas where temperatures right now are in the single digits. and your windchill is well below zero. 12 below is what it feels like in denver. by the time the next storm system is into the northeast, it will come in the form of rain. also severe storms likely today. down through the east coast, the carolinas where we so see isolated tornadoes and strong
storms in florida as well. as well as more snow falling up into illinois and indiana so this storm has all kinds of things with it. >> out west, getting some stuff there, too? >> oh, yeah, more snow in the mountains. for entertainment news. if you plan to head to the movies during the holiday. you probably noticed this, you better make sure you have extra time. many of the season's blockbusters are clocking in in almost three hours apiece. nbc's kristen dahlgren reports on that. >> reporter: they are epic productions earning oscar buzz. >> shall we stop this bleeding? >> reporter: but this year's blockbusters have something else coming. you better block out three hours if you want to see one. as we approach the end of the year, hollywood's heavyweights are posting hefty run times. "lincoln" clocks in at 2 1/2 hours. "les miserables," 2:38.
and "the hobbit" a whopping 2:49, that's right, almost 3 hours. >> a never ending story. >> reporter: sacha baron cohen joked. why try to hold the moviegoers' attention for so long? many say blame it on oscars. there's a feeling here in hollywood that the academy won't take a best picture contender seriously if it's under two hours. and this time of year, studios are racing to release the epic before the oscar deadline. >> any film that opens on christmas day is also eligible for oscars. >> reporter: long oscar winners are, of course, nothing new. "gone with the wind" was almost four hours but included an intermission. >> frankly, my dear, i don't give a damn. >> reporter: it seems today's mother gores don't seem to mind. >> if i'm into the subject matter and all that, i'm all for it.
>> reporter: experts predict a record box office take of almost $11 million this year. a sign that supersize movies may be around for a very long time. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, hollywood. is she or isn't she? jessica simpson finally addressed weeks of rumors of whether she's expecting a second child or not. the 32-year-old singer who gave birth to her daughter maxwell seven months ago found a way to let the cat out of the bag. she tweeted a photo saying "big sis" in sand. simpson and eric johnson have been engaged since 2010. i'm richard lui and this is "early today." just for first stop of the day on your nbc station.
>> you're watching wbal-tv 11. live, local, late-breaking. this is 11 news today at 5:00 a.m. >> after that surprise on christmas, it looks like more wintry weather is on the way. look at the rain and snow that is starting to build back into the state. this is all migrating up towards the east and it will cause some slippery conditions across the state of maryland. we will break that all down when
with pillsbury grands! cinnamon rolls. [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough. [captioning made possible by constellation energy group] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> you're watching wbal-tv 11. live, local, late-breaking. this is 11 news today at 5:00 a.m. >> good morning. i am sarah caldwell. >> i'm jennifer franciotti. thanks for joining us for 11 news today. news today. >>